US not encircling China, wants to engage Beijing: White House

US not encircling China, wants to engage Beijing: White House

"Our approach has always basically been that we need to cooperate with China on a range of issues. If you're going to deal with the global economy and global economic growth, if you’re going to deal with security concerns in the region, if you’re going to deal with energy and climate, China has got to be a partner on those issues," Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes said.

"However, that even as we cooperate on some issues, we're going to disagree, and that we’re going to disagree directly with one another, but that those disagreements need not and should not derail cooperation on other issues. So that you can have a relationship that is mature enough and healthy enough that we can cooperate on some things, disagree on others," he said.

"Related to that is we don’t feel like there needs to be a choice between a cooperative US-China relationship and these broader relationships that we have in Asia; that in fact I think, as an Asian power and a Pacific power, it’s in the interests of the region for the US to have a cooperative relationship with China on some of these issues.

But it's similarly in the interests of the region for us to, again, be very engaged with ASEAN, to be deepening our partnership with India, and to firm up our alliances with Korea and Japan," Rhodes said in response to a question.

"If we look at our record over the last few years, one of the things we’re most proud of is putting those alliances with Korea and Japan on a firmer footing, again, getting at the table in terms of ASEAN, and then dealing with the partnership in India that has such enormous potential," he said.

"And frankly, it is a relationship that, because it’s between two democracies, has a kind of qualitative potential that is unique. The US and India, as the world’s two largest democracies, share interests but we also share values. And that opens the doors to cooperation bilaterally but also cooperation in the region and around the world."
"We've always had a very clear theory of our approach, which is that as it relates to China, that we want to develop a kind of regular order of high-level consultations that include the strategic dialogues that (Treasury) Secretary (Timothy) Geithner and Secretary (of State, Hillary) Clinton lead with their Chinese counterparts; that include the kinds of trips that we just saw Tom Donilon and Larry Summers take to China.

But also include -- I think if you stack up the kinds of interactions that President (Bareck) Obama has had with President Hu (Jintao) just over the course of the last two years, it’s unprecedented in terms of the number of meetings and contacts that they’ve had," he said.

"Our approach has always basically been that we need to cooperate with China on a range of issues. If you’re going to deal with the global economy and global economic growth, if you’re going to deal with security concerns in the region, if you’re going to deal with energy and climate, China has got to be a partner on those issues," Rhodes said.

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